Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vive la France!



…..I’m going to Paris next month. For nine days. With Nola, QP, the three McF girls, and Lizzie. Holy tamole are we going to have some fun.


It hasn’t really hit me that I’ll be in Europe with six other wonderful women for a little more than a week. It probably won’t completely sink in until I walk onto the plane.


I’ve been to Paris once before, way back in 1997. The trip was a high school graduation gift from QP and UJ, and we went to London and Paris the summer after my senior year. We had an awesome time.


I’m excited to go back and revisit many of the famous Parisian landmarks I’ve already seen, like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Musee de Rodin, as well as potentially discover a few new ones.


I’m also excited to see the City of Light through the eyes of a 32-year-old instead of a 17-year-old. It’s not that I’m ungrateful for my first trip, but I know I’ll have a whole new level of appreciation for this one now that I’m older.


Plus, I’ll legally be able to drink. So there’s that.


I’m going to miss my two boys so much while I’m gone, but I know Riley-bean will have tons of fun with his daddy while Mama is away. And, while Kenny is working, Riley will get to spend lots of time with Nopsi, Aunt E, and Grandma. He probably won’t even know I’m gone.


So if things start to slow down around here over the next few weeks, it’s because I’m busy making lists, packing, repacking, packing some more, and spending as much time with my boys as possible until I leave.


But I promise there will be lots of recap posts (and accompanying pics) when I return. And who knows? Maybe I’ll even coerce Kenny into doing a couple of posts on his own while I’m gone.


Ooh, now that’s an idea…..

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Twenty-One Months

Every time one of these “birthday” posts rolls around, I am always amazed at how much I have to write about concerning Riley’s development and personality. He certainly is an ever-changing little boy, and I can’t believe he’s only three short months away from turning TWO!

At 21 months, Riley weighs 29.2 pounds and stands about 34.5 inches tall.

Here’s what I want to remember about this past month:

  • He tried a few new foods: orange juice, capers, cannellini beans, jicama, prosciutto, pastrami, oyster, feta, calamari. His appetite decreased somewhat this month, especially at dinner. He also refused a few of his favorite foods, which I’m hoping changes soon. Oh, and I have started teaching him what the three meals of the day are.
  • He loves snacks, though. He brings me bowls and his food of choice (dried blueberries, raisins, puffs, cereal) whenever he wants a snack, and he doesn’t take kindly to me telling him no if it’s too close to dinnertime (read: meltdowns).
  • He is taking one nap each day, for 2-3 hours, and he’s still sleeping good at night (in bed by 7:30 or earlier). However, in the middle of this month, he started waking up in the middle of the night and also when we would go in to give him a paci. Luckily, he would always go right back to sleep, with little or no interference from us. But then he started waking up super early a couple of mornings, so I decided to try to shift his schedule a bit. Getting him into bed before 7pm seemed to help, so we’re going to try to stick to that.
  • He has learned lots of names during the past few months, as well as where some of them live. He knows Kathleen is his music teacher; Kelvin is Nola’s mailman; Rosemary lives down the street from Nola; Eli, Ita, and Aunt Jackie live in Carolina; Uncle Bill lives in Maryland; Uncle Paul lives in California; Uncle Steve lives in Baton Rouge. And he loved when Aunt Dede, Uncle Dean, and Taylor came to visit this month, especially because Uncle Dean could lift him up high to touch the air vents.
  • (He is obsessed with the air conditioner and the vents. Every time the A/C kicks on, he stops what he’s doing, listens, and then says “air condition on.” And he asks to touch the vents all the time. It’s really too bad I can’t reach them. Darn.)
  • He’s basically speaking solely in sentences these days, and he’s even started using pronouns (most of the time correctly). When people find out how old he is, they’re always amazed at how well (and how much) he talks.
  • He became really clingy to mama this month. He cried when I left him in the nursery at Jazzercise (he got better after going for a couple of weeks), he likes to be near me around strangers, and he even makes sure I’ll “come get you” after naps and at night-night.
  • He’s getting really good at cleaning up when asked to do so. This may stem from music class, where Miss Kathleen sings the Clean-Up Song: “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody does their share.”
  • His daddy is teaching him left and right and also how to count his fingers. We often ask him “how many?” and he’s starting to grasp the concept. He always starts with “1” and sometimes continues with “2, 3.” His wooden clock has been wonderful at teaching him numbers. QP even uses it to teach him in French and he usually names “9” and “10” in French (“neuf” and “dix”) instead of in English.
  • He knows red means stop and green means go; he knows some big trucks say “beep, beep, beep” when they back up; he loves going “up the hill,” “around the curve,” and “down the hill” when we get on the interstate; he now says “dibble, dibble, dopp” when it’s raining (from Mr. Brown Can Moo Can You?); he knows he has to hold someone’s hand when he crosses the street (although he sometimes ignores this fact even though he knows “it’s dangerous”); he has learned to hold the railing to walk down the stairs; he knows how to walk on his tiptoes; he knows to blow on his food if it’s too hot.
  • He’s still testing his limits with hitting, kicking, and throwing. This is what I struggle with the most with him. I know he’s pushing me to see how far he can go, but it’s frustrating! He’s gotta learn someday, though, so we’ll just keep chugging along with trying to teach him right and wrong.  
  • After seeing a framed picture of him at his first birthday party, he asked for cake. I told him it wasn’t his birthday so we didn’t have any. Now whenever he sees the picture he says, “Cake? Not your birthday!”
  • Every now and then he’ll giggle for a bit and then say, “Riley funny!”
  • He was playing in his corner one day a couple of weeks ago, and he started calling me to get my attention because he obviously had to tell me something. “Mama. Mama?” “What, buddy?” “I playin’.” Stinkin’ cute.

Twenty-one months old!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Opa! {Greek Fest 2012}

This weekend Kenny and I took Riley to his first Greek Fest out on the grounds of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Lakeview. This festival is on a much smaller scale than Jazz Fest or French Quarter Fest, but it is wildly popular.


Kenny and I really enjoy going to this festival, but we missed out the past two years. Last year we had just finished moving so we skipped it. And the year before, my six-months-pregnant self ducked in very quickly to get my coveted box of pastries while Kenny waited patiently in the car. (Yes, Greek sweets are that good. It had nothing whatsoever to do with my hormones. Nothing.)

(I’m serious!)


So when fest time rolled around again, I wasn’t about to miss out on it for a third year. Plus, Riley’s at a great age for events like this, and he loves being outside. The only downside was that it was really hot out there, but we managed to survive.

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While we were out there, Riley got to do so many cool things, including learning how to say “opa!”…..


…..riding a donkey…..


…..watching the canoes on Bayou St. John…..


…..checking out the delicious meat being roasted…..


…..and having his first taste of calamari…..


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…..even though he really only wanted the lemon at first.


Many of our friends also made it out to the fest, and we had a good little group to hang out with much of the time.


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When we couldn’t take the heat anymore, we all trooped back to Karen and Jeff’s house (conveniently located only a few blocks away) to cool off inside for a bit and then jump in the pool for a refreshing cap-off to a fun afternoon.

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Thanks again for hosting us, Karen and Jeff. Same time, same place next year, right? Opa!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Video Monday: Cockylauer and Green Balls

On two consecutive nights last week, I shot short little videos of Riley-bean while he was eating his dinner. One was for Aunt E, and the other was for Uncle Jeff.

I learned recently that Aunt E loves what Riley calls cauliflower, so since he was having it for dinner, I decided to make him say it for her.

The next night Riley had peas for dinner, so I taught him that Mama and Uncle Jeff used to call peas “green balls.” This was before eating peas made Uncle Jeff’s throat close up.

Sorry, Jeff.

Happy {Memorial Day} Monday!

Friday, May 25, 2012


As Nopsi said when he saw this picture…..

A man, his snacks, a couch, and TV.

What more can he want?


Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dueling Lawnmowers

Kenny’s favorite time of year has arrived…’s grass-cutting season!


Man, am I glad mowing the lawn is not one of my jobs. Give me laundry inside any day.


Having this as a chore just may be one of the many reasons Kenny is glad we had a son first.


He is absolutely not going to mind a little help from Riley-bean once he’s older.


For now though, the boy looks awfully cute following along behind his daddy, pushing his little toy lawnmower.


And it was even cuter when Kenny whisked Riley up onto his shoulders to give him a bird’s eye view.


I’m sorry that he can’t really help you just yet, Ken, but look at it this way: at least you don’t have to cut the amount of grass we had at our old house!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mister Methodical

Nola started having parades with Riley in the bathtub a couple of months ago. Shortly after that, QP started having pinecone parades with him in the driveway during TWQP. Lately, however, he has taken it to a whole new level. All by himself.


He has started lining up his trucks and some other toys on one of the windowsills in the den…..

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… well as on the arm of the couch.

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He very methodically places each toy in position, making them fit into the free space just right how he wants.


He’s totally going to be an engineer one day.


Just like his daddy.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Video Monday: Swimming

Riley is going to be an absolute wild man in the pool this summer.

That is all.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Four Wheeler

When Grandma was here on Saturday, she made an impromptu request not long after Riley woke up from his nap: she decided he needed a ride-on toy big enough for his {almost} two-year-old self. So, off we went to Toys ‘R Us, with a slight detour for a snowball on the way, to fulfill her Mother’s Day wish. After a successful trip, we came home with this:

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According to Riley, it’s a “not-a-tractor-four-wheeler.” Okay, then. Everybody got that?


He seems to be enjoying his new toy very much, asking for it first thing in the morning for a few days straight. However, when he brings something over to the corner by the bin of corks, that’s how I know he really likes it. That corner is one of his favorite places to play make a mess.


He even decided his new four wheeler was a good spot to watch Mickey the other day…..


He gets around on it fairly well, but he’d probably do better if he didn’t insist on holding other toys while riding it. He is one stubborn little boy.

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He’ll get the hang of his new wheels eventually, though. I’m quite sure he’ll be zooming around the house before I know it. Crazy kid.

Thank you very much, Grandma, for the new addition to his toy collection. As you can see, he loves it!

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